Scanners used to be such a pain. They were big, bulky, and they had to be in your home at all times. If you were looking to preserve important documents, receipts, or anything else, it could be quite the hassle.
Not anymore. Today’s scanners are much sleeker and smaller. Meanwhile, you have portable scanners. A portable scanner allows you to scan documents and other goodies from anywhere, and you can transfer it to a computer or use Wi Fi to transport it to a cloud server.
In today’s work from anywhere world, portable scanners aren’t just a novelty item. You may need them. But which ones are the best? Let’s find out.
Carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
First Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best portable scanner
We looked for scanners that were easy to use and did the job. We also considered the number of features the scanners had. Do you have to use USB, or was there software that allowed easier transfer. Battery life and picture quality was also another consideration.
#1: Doxie Go SE (Best Value – All-Purpose)
If you’re looking for some portable documents scanners, the Doxie Go is the first one to look at. This one is the perfect balance between value and quality most are looking for. It requires no computer and can scan at full color, up to 600 DPI. For those unaware, 600 DPI is better than most in regards to picture quality.
This portable scanner runs on a rechargeable battery, and it should be able to scan around 400 pages. As for storage, you can keep about 4,000 pages in there.
So, how do you get the documents off? You can use the app to send it. There is also a WiFi version, which costs a little more but allows you even more freedom.
Reviews have been quite positive. Many say this is one of those document scanners that manages to scan fast and it indeed brings you the office on the go. There were a few negative reviews, as would be with most machines, but they are in the minority. One criticism is that the software that was included was lacking.
#2: Raven Document Scanner (Best Machine)
If you’re looking for a portable scanner and you have a bigger budget, this is the one for you. You would pick this one if you need a business-grade portable scanner that will last you a long time, or you just want one with the most bells and whistles. This is one of the best portable scanners on the market.
It’s a scanner that you can scan to most cloud services. It also has a USB drive, the ability to email it to someone, fax, and other convenient ways to send it. Also, the documents you scan on there are easily searchable. Of course, it has Wi-Fi as well.
One of its fanciest features is the big LCD touchscreen. This makes it much easier to navigate and edit any documents you want.
Finally, let’s talk about its scanning features. This scanner can be fed 50 sheets and can handle most types of documents. It’s one of the best portable scanners for maximizing productivity.
Reviews have been extremely positive. Most people say it’s one of the best if you need to scan documents and don’t want a computer to do so. There were a few negative reviews, mostly considering jammed documents and forced updates, but these were in the minority.
#3: Xerox Duplex (Best Double-Sided)
If you’re looking for a scanner that can handle both sides of a document at once, this double-sided scanner is for you. It can transfer files to either Mac or PC, and it does have an LCD screen, which is a nice bonus. Xerox is a classic name in scanners, with the name being a generic way of saying that you scanned or faxed a document. With that said, this is not a good photo scanner, as it is black and white. But if you need something purely for documents, then this is a good one.
There aren’t too many reviews, but most are positive, saying the scanner is easy to use and does what it’s supposed to. With any review of document scanners, you have a few negative reviews concerning defective units or paper jams. Someone will always get a defective unit. It has a low chance of happening, but their review will make people think that this is more common.
#4: Magic Wand (Best Low Cost)
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If you’re looking for a document scanner that is cheaper, this has you covered. It can scan photos and documents in black and white, color, JPG, or PDF, and the resolutions can be up to 900dpi.
This portable scanner also has an included USB cable, which you can use for easy transfer. If you don’t want that, the scanner also has a 16GB SD card for another form of transfer. It’s always good to have multiple ways to transfer your scanned documents.
What do the reviews say? Being a cheaper scanner, they are a little more mixed but still overall positive. Most reviewers say that it’s a good little portable scanner if you’re wanting one that doesn’t cost too much. Negative reviews say that this portable scanner is difficult to use and doesn’t scan book pages.
#5: HP Tango (Best Printer and Scanner)
There are many scanners that have a printer feature as well, and this is one of them. This is a smart printer/scanner that lets you print and scan from anywhere. It’s voice-activated and the print quality is high, giving you that professional quality you need. It also has Amazon Dash, which allows you to replenish your ink supply in a cheaper manner. Also, it has WiFi as well, something that’s always important.
Reviews have mostly been positive, but they are a little mixed. Some people say it’s a stylish printer and scanner that does the job. Others say that it’s hard to use, especially with Macbooks, and that customer service is a pain. If you have to have a printer, it’s well worth checking out. Otherwise, get yourself a pure scanner.
What About the Cheapies? Our Best Products Under $X
#1 Best Under $70: CanonCanoscan
This is a cheap scanner that does the job quickly and allows you to send your photos to the cloud. If you’re looking for a cheap photo scanner, this one is one of the best ones for the job. While not good for scanning documents, this is great if you have old family photos that you want to preserve digitally.
#2 Best Under $50: Brookstone iConvert
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If you have an iPad, this is for you. This scanner allows you to transmit scanned documents onto your iPad. Obviously, it doesn’t do much else, but it’s worth it if you have an iPad.
#3 Best Under $45: Photolink Scanner
This scanner is mainly for people who want a quick way to scan their photos. It’s a one-touch scanner for that. It has slightly mixed reviews, but it may work if you’re in a pinch. Again, if you’re looking for a document scanner, find something else.
How does a Portable Scanner Work Exactly?
Portable scanners typically use a rechargeable battery and have a compact design, allowing them to be portable. Most portable scanners have USB or SD card capabilities or use WiFi to send the documents to a cloud server or email, allowing you to preserve your documents with ease.
What’s the Best Portable Scanner for Photos?
Some portable scanners are good for documents, others for photos, and some for both. If you’re looking for just photos, the Canon CanoScan may be your best bet. If you want a little bit of both, the Doxie Go SE is a good scanner.
Can You Use a Scanner Without a Computer?
Portable scanners are designed to work without a computer. You can send the documents and photos you scan to a computer or cloud server, and some more advanced portable scanners let you view the documents in greater detail.
Verdict: Your Best portable scanner
Now, let’s summarize the top five portable scanners.
If you’re looking for a scanner that is the most well-rounded, the Doxie Go SE has you covered. It has plenty of convenient ways to scan and transfer, especially if you pick the WiFi version. It’s also not too expensive but not a budget scanner.
If you want the best of the best, the Raven Document Scanner is for you. This office-grade scanner can handle multiple documents and has an intuitive LCD screen, but its price may not be for everyone.
Looking for a double-sided? The Xerox Duplex may be for you. It’s a basic portable black and white scanner, but it can handle both sides.
The Magic Wand is a good scanner if you’re looking for a budget one. It has the most basic features of a portable scanner, so if you’re looking for a cheap one, this is for you.
Finally, the HP Tango is a good portable scanner and printer combination. It isn’t as mobile as the others, but if you have to print something out, this allows you to do so from virtually anywhere. Try it out.
And there you go. These are the top five portable scanners. With working from home and working anywhere being more normalized, these tools are important if you want to keep track of documents and photos.
Also, yes, you can use your phone to scan documents. There are plenty of apps that let you use your phone for a scan-like quality. However, even the most advanced phones have problems scanning flat documents close to them and making a legible print. A portable scanner just does it better.
Anyway, check out some of these scanners. We hope you find the best one that’s suitable for your job. Good luck.